I would like to think that there are still people of goodwill, intellectuals who shall raise over the petulance of the money and social and political expediency, poets who are continuing rhyming verses and not selling books, defenders of humans without any rights who do not benefit from other laws than the inconvenience of rebellion against all the hatred, humiliation and injustice.
I would like to think that there are politicians who still believe in honesty, leaders making of humility not a slogan, a pretext for the next political campaign or the convenient marketing tag used for their leadership. The occasions pass, leaders die, life continues its course and sometimes is forgotten or crushed.
I would like to think that there are still verses, and books and clean and serene writers in this world. I would like to think there are still men who examine first their consciences before their pockets. Artists who value his work for the intrinsic beauty of his palette rather than the winged trace, bright in its mirage, of its fleeting stardom in the art market of the moment.
I would like to think there are men, rather than puppets; peoples, rather than multitudes; leaders, rather than warlords; statesmen, rather than dictators.
I would like to think all that, Ms. Jacobson.
It is very easy to dream. Dressing up with fantasy and say, only by the magic of wanting to believe the impossible, that this world can be fixed by a few dreamers who sing songs and compose wonderful arpeggios and cultivate beauty and sublime art. Illustrious beings, enlightened, sailing against the strong current of those populists who are marketing ideas, concepts and definitions in this world, selling the deceitful art of the disaster. I would like to think that philosophers rule, humanists lead people, poets bring multitudes, goodwill claim headlines every day in our daily news, Congressmen are not bribed, merchants do not visit our temples and the earth is the celestial church of human decency.
I would like to think that organizations that claim to defend the human rights of those who do not have, in those societies cornered by those warlords who replace governments by their whim, do not have dishonorable people that count stealthily some hidden money in their pockets, or the one they could manage to get if they find some project of any public administration or government.
I would like to think that these groups act with a charitable heart, rather than with consciousness. The heart does not calculate with convenient rationality its defenses, does not use any compass to provide its timely assistance, and does not extend its check book to impose a price on its duties, but acts with Spartan purity even with its own enemies. The heart is a loving father to his children, the feelings. The brain is the spiteful lover, jealous and cruel, capricious and vagabond, extending its hand in any onerous market, no matter its impurity, or precisely for being it.
I would like to think so many good things of this world. Life is so beautiful, the songs of the birds, the flowers that sweeten the silence with its smells and colors, the graceful animals that populate the most unexpected corners of our universe. Everyone is entitled to enjoy those charms; it is the sacred gift of God for the living, i.e. mankind.
I would like to think, Ms. Jacobson, but I cannot.
I have seen such indifference in humanity, and so much expediency for so many sides and corners. Right now I think on your next trip to Cuba you must reflect how much that country has endured, how many years have passed through its people without really knowing what it is essentially the freedom and its true meaning, decide for themselves, get up every day on their feet and walk on their country.
Their country, what a beautiful phrase!
They do not know it, Ms. Jacobson. Very jealous goblins have closed the books; have purchased with pittances some consciences, have planted demurely the opportunism of envy, harvested the lying lips, the solicitous ears, and hatred. Many!
You will travel to a country divided much more by hatred, rather than by water. Those who live on both sides of the Straits of Florida are divided by a few, a small handful of lepers, and nothing else. But harvested thousands who keep the flame of hatred, and in that harvest there are bad, less bad, and a little better.
Very few are good!
The unfortunate meanness of their rulers, but what I say!, of their leaders of clay has succeeded in promoting a nation full of wordy lazy people, slushy scribes of fear, storytellers of sycophancies and dignitaries of terror. Conspirators everywhere!
And those conspirators of "sides" have served you some lists. Tokens have been accommodated on a board at convenience by them. A convenience that circumvents the puritan legality of a state that does not respect its own laws. And there they are, they have served to all of you an incomplete list of 53 names.
There are missing! And many, some of them are not mentioned by any of the official lists of those scribblers.
Surprises to read the "reasons" in the lists of Cuban political prisoners that some of those "Commissions" of human rights and "reconciliation" quote and do not pity themselves to refer. I quote some of them, but I feel pity for those involved (and maybe there are some truths behind their opposition, at least I have chosen to believe in them), that's why I do not include their names:
- Convicted for throwing a Molotov cocktail against a store in protest by the prevailing economic situation (who defined the “consciousness” of this fact?)
- Broke the glass of a car door of an officer of the political police (I've no doubt the police beat him up before the situation with the broken window)
- Activist to whom police found a marihuana cigarette in a search (Is Marijuana now a political activity?)
- Dissident beaten by police for refusing to leave a park where he was reading a book
And here I stop, Ms. Jacobson.
"Read a book" can be a crime in Cuba, no doubt. For instance, try to read a book like "Persona non grata" of the former Chilean Ambassador Jorge Edwards in a public space, or the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It could also be to read a book of Ángel Santiesteban, who is in prison for his vertical and smart criticisms, in his books and in his blog, against the Castro government.
As says one of those commissions so common in Cuba, and claim to be defenders of human rights, the biased justice of that government lays down the charges of its political enemies, and I quote, through "distortions of facts or capricious qualifications that become true 'official story'“.
Then it is unfathomable how these human rights organizations "unknown" the real "crime" of political dissent of the writings of this multi award-winning writer, much more when they have the unseemly, and also shameful, "prudery" to say, a few lines above in their convenient report, and I quote again:
“...we are confident that within the huge prison population of Cuba's government, there are other cases that are not known”
End of quote.
I.e., this two commissions, those of either side of the Straits of Florida, the one in Havana named the “Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation” headed by Elizardo Sanchez, and in Florida (or beyond, I do not care where) named “Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba”, from which it is unknown who runs or presides – not appear anywhere – suitably, I think - on its official Web site in internet), these two commissions agree in recognize that reading a book is a "political offense" in Cuba, but it is no offender who wrote the book.
Quite a nice puzzle, right, Ms. Jacobson?
I cannot understand that an organization that scrutinizes the actions of a government about the rights its citizens should have writes a report where the reasons for being a “political prisoner” is a cigarette of marihuana and a book, or someone breaks a car window to a police patrol, and at the same time being intellectually incapables of stating in their lists the author of a work of social and political criticism in his books and blog.
Unless, Ms. Jacobson, the masterminds of these lists are in the same conspiracy of silence with the Cuban regime regarding to the writer Angel Santiesteban. Or, at best, but at worst too, that they accept the definition of justice defined by Cuba's government. And if so, should eliminate – to be consistent in its definition – of those "lists of political suspects" the marijuana smokers, the auto window breakers and the book readers.
After all, a reading can never be more “criminal” than its own writing. Or, am I mistaken?
There are other reasons, I think, Ms. Jacobson, more personals and powerful. And I think it is the fear of those who believe themselves as "big", being nothing but mud puppets, to dimension intellectuals who grow over them in terms of personal courage, intelligence and talent. And that is the case of Ángel Santiesteban, because he does not claim anything for himself, none self importance and prominence, none stardom, and these heretic scribblers of lists only seek the convenient sponsorship of the moment.
Santiesteban is forgotten by all, for convenience, civic cowardice and mediocrity.
Before concluding I would like to say a few last words. It has to do with the attitude of the government that you represent.
I would like to think your great country, the United States of America, for so long the ideal soil of democracy and justice, do not forget its moral stature, its ideals and its history. I would like to think that, when a country has ceased to fight for itself to achieve justice, it can always count on that other who was always its dream, and those men who govern it also continue representing it and remember of those peoples, already overcome by its weariness at injustice and silence, or defeated by its age or foolishness, or I do not know for how many more things!, fill it with justifications and other thousands reasons, all the well known verbs are not enough to describe this sort of collapse and virile decline of a nation.
We do not ask to your country, Ms. Jacobson, and the honorable men and women of its government to free Cuba. The last is our task. We ask all of you do not to forget us in your thoughts and in your actions. I hope the gesture that has led to shake hands with the unfair to open justice in a nation without it for 56 years, do not make to forget it is for the benefit of the emergence of such justice, and not for despicable reasons of commerce, vulgar to the heart and the spirit of America and its founding fathers.
I dare to go to one of the highest figures in American letters, Toni Morrison, in her speech on receiving the Nobel Prize, when she said:
"I don't know whether the bird you are holding is dead or alive, but what I do know is that it is in your hands. It is in your hands.”
“The bird is in your hand”, Ms Jacobson. Or to be more exact, on Mr. Barack Obama's hands, President of the United States.
Do not let it die.
Note: You can read this post in Spanish here.
Note: You can read this post in Spanish here.